“Sure, I cheated. But I never intended to hurt you.”
“Good” intentions do not magically make STDs go away.
“Good” intentions do not magically make stolen money spent on OW/OM reappear.
“Good” intentions do not magically make adultery okay.
I chalk the “But I never intended to hurt you” sort of statement up to the cheater lying to himself/herself. They are doing image management to make themselves better.
“See. I am not a bad person. A bad person would have spitefully cheated on you. I did it not intentionally trying to hurt you.”
This sort of thinking minimizes what was done to the faithful spouse. It suggests intentions are the only thing that counts and not the destructive lies/actions of the cheater. Such a suggestion is flat out false. The cheater is believing and promoting a lie to think otherwise.
Also, it strikes me as rather convenient for the cheater that their intention to enjoy sinful, stolen pleasure with another was successfully executed whereas their godly intention to honor their marriage vows were not.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a saying with durability for good reason: Intentions are less reliable than actions and are subject to manipulation in presentation.
Plus, it is not like any adult is really unaware of the fact that having illicit sex outside their marriage will be hurtful to their spouse. Who hasn’t heard of the prohibition against adultery from the Ten Commandments (e.g. Ex 20)?! This is not a knowledge gap problem.
It is a character gap problem created by someone who intentionally made the decision to indulge their selfish desires over honoring their solemn marriage vows and thereby guarding their partner from soul rape.